10 Tips When Setting Up Your Google Ads Campaign

Have you decided to give Google Ads a go but you are not sure how to get the most bang for your buck? Check out our 10 top tips when starting out with Google Ads.

1. Check You Are Using The Right Keyword Match Type

To get your ad in front of the right people and avoid wasting time with searches that are not related to your product or service, Google created Keyword Match Types. You should be aware of three main categories of keywords: Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match (see here for more information on the Google Keyword Match Types).

By default, the selection will default to ‘Broad Match’ unless you choose otherwise during set up. While there are times that you may want to select Broad Match, a broad match keyword will trigger a much wider selection of search terms attracting clicks from searchers that are not necessarily interested in your product or service. This will quickly cost you money if not carefully managed.

2. Don’t Blow The Budget On Just One Ad

Blowing your entire budget on just one ad is a common mistake often seen in those new to Google Ads. Instead of looking a Google Ads as an ongoing marketing tool, it is seen as a one-off throw-everything-at-it approach.

If you go all-in on the first campaign you won’t get the opportunity to refine, learn and experiment with different options to find what works best. Careful monitoring of results over several campaigns will pay off – remember none of us gets it right the first time!

3. Always Monitor Your Search Queries

Keeping track of your progress and using this to your advantage is one of the essential parts of your Google Ads campaign. Please don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking once you have set up the ad campaign and got it up and running that the job is done.

Google Ads provides a range of reports and analytics that can help you make more refined ad decisions in the future. Taking notice of the phrases and keywords that triggered clicks on your ads, for example, is one of the most useful ways to refine and build higher performing campaigns, understand your target market better and make strategic SEO decisions for your website.

4. Make Sure Your Ads Match Your Landing Pages 

The number one rule of Google Ads is to make sure your landing pages match your ads. If searchers click on an ad expecting to find the answer they are after, and then they end up on a page that doesn’t provide that answer – then say goodbye to not only your PPC but the potential lead too.

Keywords, ad text and landing pages must all be in sync; this benefits you by delivering you better leads ultimately saving money on wasted clicks, and also by building a better Quality Score. Google uses your landing page’s relevance to help determine the Quality Score of your ad, which directly affects its placement and cost. See here for more on Google Quality Scores.

5. Identify Negative Keywords

Setting negative keywords is something you may easily overlook, but it is an integral part of maximising the return on investment of your Google Ads. When focusing on how to attract searchers, it’s not about just searchers in general; it’s about hitting the right searchers – the ones who are going to bring in sales leads.

The negative keywords function is there to prevent your ads from triggering for unrelated search queries – and it can save you a lot of money! For example, if your business is a professional website SEO firm and your name is ‘Avatar’, then setting the word “movie” as a negative keyword you are saying, please don’t trigger my ad for any search query that contains the word “movie”. So someone looking for Avatar the movie is not going to trigger your ad. Take a look at the ‘Search Terms Report’ to help identify negative keywords.

6. Don’t Ignore Location Targeting

Are you a hairdresser that works in Christchurch? You will not want your ad to show up for people searching for a hairdresser in Auckland, right? When creating Google Ads campaign, defining your geographical location is a must for businesses catering specifically to local markets.

Not setting location specifics will mean wasted clicks from people outside of your area that will likely never convert to sales. These clicks will also adversely affect your analytics for each campaign, causing you to make misleading assumptions and incorrect decisions for future ads.

7. Consider Setting Up An Ad Release Schedule

Not setting an Ad Schedule means your ad will trigger at any time of the day/week/month. If you have a reasonable budget and are the type of business that suits this approach and want your ads to be shown continuously, this is fine; however, setting up an Ad Schedule can benefit many campaigns, particularly those with a limited budget.

Setting an ad release schedule means you can decide what days and hours you want your ad to show. This schedule can aid in preventing irrelevant clicks, increasing the return on investment. If you do not know what hours would be best try sticking to the business opening hours for a start and after a bit of research and perhaps a trial and error approach you will discover what times are going to suit your business best.

8. The Top Ad Position Is Not Always The Target

There is a simple formula that Google uses to rank its ads; it is the Bid Amount multiplied by the ad’s Quality Score. If two businesses with the same Quality Score were vying for the top spot, the one with the highest bid amount would win. For many people, this gives the impression you must bid the highest to gain greater exposure; this is not always the case.

It is important to note that you don’t have to swipe the number one spot in order to generate quality clicks and increase traffic coming in 3rd to 5th is also going to pay off. Let’s say your biggest competitor is a big name brand company with a large budget and well-established customer base – instead of attempting to outbid them, focus on building a better Quality Score to gain the advantage of a better rank position.

9. Don’t Send Traffic To Your Homepage

Sending people to your homepage is a big mistake. Searchers are people. When we search for things on the internet, we are all looking for the answers to our questions, and we want these answers quickly. If we don’t find them, we leave your website and go to another.

Yes, you might think “oh it’s ok, they will look around and find what they need” this is not the case, most searchers will just leave immediately. Using well designed existing pages or creating specific landing pages are an integral part of any Google Ad Campaign.

10. Make The Most Of Ad Extensions

Google Ads advertisement extensions are designed to enable you to provide additional information to your ads giving people more reason to click on it. Think of Extensions as adding value to your ad – providing greater visibility and relevance on search results pages. Competition is fierce on Google’s search platform so any advantage you can gain is worth it!

According to Google, “Extensions often increase your total number of clicks, and can give people additional, interactive ways of reaching you”. However, extensions aren’t guaranteed to show all of the time; they show up when it is predicted they will improve the ad performance and when your ad’s position and Ad Rank is high enough. There are currently nine different ad extensions on offer, including:

  1. Location Extensions
  2. Affiliate location extensions
  3. Callout extensions
  4. Call Extensions
  5. Sitelink extensions
  6. App Extensions
  7. Price Extensions
  8. Lead Form extensions
  9. Structured snippets extensions

See more information on Google’s Ad Extensions.

Avoiding these common mistakes when creating your first Google Ads campaign will enable you to get you on the right track from the start. Want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth from Google Ads? Give the Google Ads team at Avatar a call today – we are happy to help!

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